Incorporating a moment of reflection has been tough this semester due to being back on campus full time. As colleagues, students, and faculty have more physical access to you, this can cut into the time needed to reflect. However, when I had those moments to reflect on the semester, it was helpful to plan for my professional development. So, as the year comes to an end, this is the time to put aside time for reflection. Using this time to celebrate successes, challenges, and losses is essential. In this blog post, there will be some suggested prompts that you can use to reflect, plus some resources that should support your professional reflective practice.
What is reflective practice? Tipton and Watson stated, “A reflective practice can take many forms, such as writing, drawing, using voice memos, and conversations with peers. Using any of these methods has great potential to elevate future performance.” I write and sometimes do videos during my reflection time. Whichever form you choose to utilize during your reflection time should make sense to you, and let it be an enjoyable activity. I enjoy writing, and sometimes when I am too tired to write, creating a video to speak my thoughts has been helpful.
Professional Reflective Practice Prompts
- What did you learn professionally this year that you are proud of?
- Did you take the time out to celebrate this achievement?
- What new professional connections did you make this year? Have you reached out to them recently?
- What new things do you want to learn next year?
- Is there an upcoming conference you would like to submit a proposal to?
- Who would you like to collaborate with next year?
- If you are interested in writing, where would you like to publish?
- If you want to do research, what are your research interests?
- How can you better take care of yourself?
- Are there some tools you implement to help take better care of yourself? For instance, Google has an extension called “Break Time” that tells you to take a break. A colleague of mine told me about this great extension.
- Do you feel professionally supported? If not, how can you get that support?
- When will you take time off?
As we go into the new year, let’s take the time to set aside time to reflect, whether daily, weekly or monthly, so that we are in alignment with our professional goals. Hopefully, this will lead to being more intentional. Below will be some resources that should help with your reflection time. Remember, this is not an exhaustive list; however, these are great resources that have helped me understand the importance of creating a professional reflective practice.
Resources to Help with Your Reflective Practice
- Reflecting Journaling: A Daily Practice, written by Amanda M. Leftwich
- Starting a Professional Reflection Practice, written by Kim Tipton & Cherie Watson
- Elevation through Reflection: Closing the Circle to Improve Librarianship, written by Jolene M. Miller, Stephanie Friree Ford, and Anna Yang
- Becoming a Reflective Librarian and Teacher: Strategies for Mindful Academic Practice, written by Michelle Reale